With a big lead late in Tuesday night’s game against the Chicago White Sox, Brad Ausmus decided to call in a reliever to help preserve Justin Verlander‘s victory. The ninth inning rolled around and with an 8-3 lead, the Detroit Tigers‘ manager decided to hand the ball to Phil Coke. Mistake No. 1.
It seemed like Detroit was cruising to victory over a divisional foe, making for an easy night on the hearts of many Tigers fans who were used to seeing blown saves and blown leads.
However, it turned into a usual case of the cardiac cats coming out to play in the ninth inning as Coke gave up three runs in just 0.2 innings and turned the ball over Joba Chamberlain for a save in a game where the save shouldn’t even have been an option.
It’s time for the Tigers to part ways with the unreliable veteran pitcher. Although it’s not likely they just flat out get rid of him, don’t be surprised if he ends up in AAA Toledo in a couple weeks due to his horrid play.
Coke’s ERA through the first month, or so, of the season has been just as bad as people would expect. With a 13.50 ERA and just two strikeouts in 4.0 innings this year, there’s no way he’s going to turn things around — or even earn the trust of his manager — any time soon.
Since the start of 2011, he has not recorded an ERA of less than 4.00 and a WHIP of less than 1.45 — both just terrible marks.
For a reliever, Coke is much more of a liability than anything else. It’s time for the front office to wake up and realize that he is nothing more than a mediocre aging reliever who has lost all confidence.
Connor Muldowney is the Content Associate for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.